Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to

Books for Teaching the Reading Strategies

By Rita McLary


PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

Unit Plan: Strategies for Active Reading


I love using picture books to model the strategies, and then turn students loose on whatever they're reading to practice the strategies. For each of the books below (or any that you choose to model): read aloud, stop, and explain your thinking as you go through the book.  Show students how you make meaning from text.

Picture Books for Each Comprehension Strategy
These are a few of my favorites, but you could also use short magazine articles or any other interesting text to model each comprehension strategy.

A Boy Called Slow by Joseph Bruchac
A beautiful book that tells of a young Native American growing into manhood and a new name, Sitting Bull.

Classroom Tip: Use to model synthesizing

Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
This informational book gives facts of the Civil War battles in a way accessible to students.

Classroom Tip: Use to model determining importance

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
Bunting tells the story of a homeless young boy and his father who try to stay invisible while living at the airport.  This is a wonderful book about nurturing hope in the face of hard times.

Classroom Tip: Use to model inference.

The House on Maple Street by Bonnie Pryor
A book that explores how our landscape and way of life have changed over the years.

Classroom Tip: Use to model visualization.

The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland
This book shows the virtue of truth as a child attempts to grow a special seed.

Classroom Tip: Use to model asking questions

Thank You, Mr. Falkner by Patricia Polacco
My favorite picture book, this reminds us what teaching is all about as Polacco describes a struggling reader and a special teacher that intervenes.

Classroom Tip: Use to model making connections.

Professional Reading

Mosaic of Thought by Susan Zimmermann and Ellin Oliver Keene
This classic professional development resource is a must-read if you are not familiar with the Reading Strategies.

Classroom Tip:  I recommend this book to many teachers as an overview of reading strategies for comprehension.

Improving Comprehension with Think-Aloud Strategies by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm
A great resource for teachers of all ages, this book reminds us to allow our students to see what expert readers do to comprehend text.

Classroom Tip: Look for ways to incorporate think-alouds every time you read to your students.

I Read It, But I Don't Get It by Cris Tovani
In my opinion, this book should be required reading in every teacher preparation program and for each teacher already in the field!

Classroom Tip: I keep this book handy to remind myself to keep my students always aware of their comprehension and always practicing the strategies that good readers use.

My Scholastic

Susan Cheyney

Lessons and Ideas
Books and Authors
Teacher's Tool Kit
Student Activities
About Us